While many enjoy changing up their gear and kayaking in the winter or fall, it’s not for everyone. Many prefer warm or fair-weather kayaking and once fall hits they’re ready to put their paddles away until spring. We get it, but this does raise the necessity of storing your kayak for several months. Knowing how to store your boat without damaging the hull is key in preserving its lifespan and being able to easily pull it out for trips come spring.
Safely Storing a Kayak
Long- term storage for kayaks is something that you should consider if you aren’t interested in using it all year round. It’s not difficult to store it properly and safely, regardless of the amount of space you have. The biggest considerations to think about are ensuring it doesn’t mold or attract any pests in need of a nest and protecting the hull from warping or damage.
Kayak Storage Prep
Especially if your kayak is well-loved, it will likely have accumulated dirt or bugs on the hull from its travels. We recommend a thorough cleaning before storing your kayak away for longer periods of time to ensure nothing damages the coating of the kayak, and to make it less attractive to mold and wandering critters.
You can spray it down with a mild soap and water and then suds it up with a soft-bristle brush to get any stuck-on residue to come off. Make sure to thoroughly hose it down afterwards and let it dry completely--storage compartments and all. The easiest way to do this is leaving it outside where it will get some sun. After that, you can treat it with any UV protectants or finishes if you like. These types of sprays are easily found on Amazon.
Kayak Storage Options
Once your kayak is properly clean and dry, the next step is to figure out where to put it. A temperature- controlled indoor space with little direct sunlight is ideal for storing kayaks, but not everyone has this on hand.
If you need to store it outside, we recommend creating a tent with a tarp and placing the kayak under that to avoid trapping moisture. If you have space in your basement or garage, these places work well for indoor storage.
To properly protect the hull of the kayak, you don’t want the weight of the kayak bearing on it for long periods of time--it really isn’t built to withstand that for very long. Creating a stand or suspension system for storage is ideal. The easiest way to do this is to get two sawhorses, put towels down on their bars, and balance the kayak hull-side up between the sawhorses. If you have hooks and straps to hang it safely from the ceiling, you could do that as well, but again keep it upside down when doing so.
If you want to keep it on the ground, but don’t have room for sawhorses, you can place two wooden planks down near the wall, rest the hull on the planks, and then tip it towards the wall to help off-set the weight on the hull. With this method you’ll need to rotate it regularly to alternate the side of the kayak up against the wall.
Any of these kayak storage methods will preserve the life of your kayak and avoid it getting damaged while not in use. Your boat is an investment, so taking good care of it will allow you to get many years of great memories on the water.